It’s that time of year when many of us spring clean our spare rooms, attics, cars, garden sheds and, if you’re like me, your office desk! But what about your CV?
Very often we simply keep adding information to our CV with each new job or qualification we gain but few of us seem to really clear out old or irrelevant information, give it a really good tidy up or dare I suggest even start again!
A recent study conducted by TheLadders showed that typically recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds* before making an initial “fit or no fit” decision and with 80% of the total time recruiters spend reading a CV focussed on a handful of key areas (names, current title, company, current position start/end dates, previous title/company, previous position start/end dates, and education) it’s essential that your CV is clear, concise and easy to read.
*by the way, we tried reviewing a CV in 6 seconds…(we even used a stopwatch)….and unless it’s a very irrelevant application we think we’ll stick to taking a little longer to read them!
So with this in mind here are our top tips on how to spring clean your CV:
Important information first
Remember to list your experience and qualifications in reverse chronological order so that the most recent information is found first. We’d also suggest starting with name and contact details, then education followed by work history.
Remove or reduce old work experience
If your early jobs are no longer relevant to what you do or what you are looking to do then don’t let them take up too much space on your CV. If you do want to keep it in then simply list employer name, job title and dates.
Structure your information
Guide recruiters and hirers to the information that’s most relevant to your application by using clear headings such as “Employment History” and “Education”. Subheadings such as “Role and Responsibilities” and “Achievements” can also help draw the reader’s eye to the key sections!
“irrelevant information could distract readers from your real accomplishments”
Cut down on the narrative
You may find it helpful to display some of your information in bulleted lists rather than paragraphs of information. It doesn’t all need to be written this way but concise lists can help your key achievements and skills standout on the page.
Cut it out!
If you have information in your CV that isn’t relevant and doesn’t add anything to your application then consider cutting it out altogether. A study by an American career coaching organisation said that 95-99% of CVs have irrelevant information on them – this information could be distracting readers from your real accomplishments.
…..but don’t forget the basics
Every now and then we spot CVs which are missing some key information, so here’s a quick reminder of some crucial items that shouldn’t get lost in the clean-up: name, phone number, email address, (ideally not a work one!), address, job title, company name, dates of employment
For more hints & tips and to download Escape’s free CV template visit our Candidate’s Help & Advice page….and remember to register your new and improved CV with us once you’ve finished your spring clean!
Related Blog Post – It’s a CV but not as we know it!